Just a simple, light image editor

Preview doesn’t do basics like “free rotate” but GIMP, Photoshop are WAY heavier than what I need. Basic “erase”, “drag”, “drop”, rotate, scale …
Paintbrush looked ok but it doesn’t do free rotate either!

Acorn and PixelMator both seem to be along the same lines in terms of functionality, and I really need like, 1/10 or 1/100 of the tools of those.

Photos, the app from Apple.

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The free ToyViewer app in the Mac App Store can do free rotate.

@ThatNerd how do you free rotate in Photos?

You just can’t do a live rotate as when editing a photo in iOS.

you do it on iOS. don’t think you can do it on Mac (yet).

Okay, but OP was talking about macOS since he specifically references Mac GIMP and Paintbrush, which are not iOS apps.

mhm, but you could easily airdrop pics to your iOS devices to do rotations before sending them back. it’s just an idea, I don’t know of photo editors more lightweight than GIMP that perform rotations.

That’s up to the OP to decide, but he was asking about Mac apps.

I like GraphicConverter. Does basic graphics stuff. As the name suggests converts files to various imaging formats. Basic work horse. I am very happy with this tool.

Yup why look far if the solution is already installed on the Mac :+1:

Except Photos for Mac can’t do it.

ToyViewer looks good, but here are 2 ways to do it natively/clunkily


  • Go to crop the image
  • You can then rotate up to 45 degrees
    – limitation that it zooms in as you rotate


  • Open the image, select all and cut
  • Paste back in
  • Use a pinch gesture on the trackpad to rotate the pasted part

If you just want a simple photo viewer with rotate, flip, and mirror functionality, qView is the best. But it won’t do scaling or erasing. https://interversehq.com/qview/download/

I think the best option for you is the Fotor app. It’s free on the Mac App Store and you won’t need to buy the premium version for your editing needs. The app looks a little dated but has all the features you need.

The crop tool can rotate the image to any degree you want.

Ha, didn’t realize that, just tried it! That’s the solved answer then!

  1. Photos > Open the image > Edit
  2. Select crop tool
  3. Use the selector on the right to rotate the crop

Its something different if you want to rotate the entire image. In that case it needs to be placed on a larger canvas and then rotate and crop again.The image will appear to be rotated but is placed on a rectangular (black) background. This is no longer a “simple” process…